Treasure Hunting in London

Hi everyone,

John and I just got home from a long weekend in London and we must be very righteous indeed, because the sun shone on us all weekend!

On Monday, we enjoyed a wonderful hop-on, hop-off tour of the city on an open-top London bus - not that cheap at £28 each, but I would totally recommend it as the best way to get a great view of the sights in comfort, without getting sore feet or having to worry about pickpockets!
The ticket lasts for 24 hours and during that time you can hop off to find some lunch, visit a museum or whatever, then hop back on again. You can choose a bus with or without a guide who points out all the sights and gives you titbits of history and background information.
The price also includes a river cruise (which we didn't do because of my slightly reluctant relationship with water - I think John would have loved to go but he hid it well!).
If you ever get the chance to do one of these tours on a sunny day - go for it!

Another highlight of our trip was a forage around Camden Lock Market with my son Tom - it was worth it just for the food! Wow! There were so many stalls selling street food from all over the world, it was really hard to choose. But somehow we managed! The boys had Jamaican Jerk Chicken and I had Mexican Corn Bread filled with chicken, guacamole, fried plantain and cheese ... obviously it was NOT a fasting day! YUM!
Of course, there were plenty of other goodies to be found, apart from the food - my DH and my DS2 are much too good at finding little goodies which they know I will really really NEED! Here's my haul
Just off the market, there was a fabulous shop full of exotic goodies called Araucaria where I found the gorgeous little carved wooden stamping blocks - here's a close-up
I couldn't believe these were only £10 for THREE! The only problem was trying to decide which to choose. There were some lovely borders as well. The Shopkeeper seemed very friendly and approachable, so I was telling him about my plans to use them for scrapping and art journaling, whereupon he went off and rummaged in a corner and came back with these beautiful 12" square handmade papers - and gave them to me!

Can you believe it?! It was such a sweet thing to do and I will definitely be making good use of them - thank you Mr. Shopkeeper :o)
BTW in the first picture you can also see a copy of "Oh Comely" magazine - I've only recently discovered this whilst looking for something to read in the newsagents at the station, but I love it because it's really different and quirky, even the readers' letters page is not like any other readers' letters page I've ever seen before. Worth the £4 price tag because it's readable from cover to cover and has really cool photos too.
Anyway, back to my haul - did you spot the cute fairy people? John got them for me at one of the indoor stalls. Here's a close-up -
They're gorgeous aren't they? They're also fully flexible and just begging for some alteration and elaboration ... they may even end up as unusual residents for one of my Derelict Dollshouses. It was very hard to choose which one to liberate - I think I would have gone for Curly, but as the man offered two for a tenner, John felt it would be rude not to buy her some company, so we rescued Flower as well.
The  delicate daisy chain running across the picture is hand-crocheted and designed to hang your specs on, but as my varifocals are pretty much glued to my face all day, I will probably turn it into a necklace. Here's a better picture -
This was only a tenner too and I could have got a longer necklace version for £20. Now, I love to crochet, so I know how much work there is in this - the thread is so fine, and there's all the bead work as well

You may also have spotted some rescued goodies in the picture which will soon be given a new and greater purpose!

  • Two broken watches from my Dad and his wife (always worth letting your friends and family know that their trash may be your treasure)
  • A brand new roll of triple-gessoed canvas (£1.95 from a charity shop)
  • Several meters of "Punchinello" (75p from the same charity shop)
  • Two unloved "Charmed Frames" by Memory Makers (75p as above)

All in all, I think you'll agree that's quite an impressive haul. Oh, and I forgot to include in the photograph a jar of delicious Whisky Marmalade and a bottle of Chilli Oil, both home made by my Dad - good job John was carrying just about everything else!

See you soon
Annie :o) xxx